Brendan Green, the "PlayerUnknown" of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, recently announced that after five years of working on PUBG, he's moving on to something else. He's remaining at PUBG Corp, however, at the head of a new division called PUBG Special Projects, which he said "will explore new possibilities of interaction and connection within the game space."
Multiplayer is clearly the focus, based on that statement, but Greene recently told GamesIndustry that one thing he's not interested in doing is making a sequel to PUBG. "The last man standing concept is great, but I've done that. I don't really intend to make PUBG 2," he said. "I've done battle royale, it's time to try something else. There are ideas about how we connect to people and how we provide the different experiences I have."
The Special Projects division gives him a free hand to indulge in that, with no orders to make a particular kind of game, or even any kind of game at all. "We're not doing this for profit," he explained. "Eventually someday, we may do, but right now it's just about having time to explore. There is no deadline here, this is us with a few years to play. Gaming and the industry has become so hard, this is a very lucky thing to have. We can genuinely explore and be curious for some time."
While he aims to move on to other things personally, Greene does have aspirations for the future of battle royale as a whole: He'd like to see it grow as an esport, and he hopes to see more people developing their own takes on the genre "out of pleasure," rather than as a cash-in. He singled out Apex Legends, which arrived with no fanfare in February, as an example of a game that found great success on its own terms.
"Apex Legends did an amazing job, they didn't hype anything, they just announced and delivered a great game," he said. "It's hard to enter the space right now. I don't envy the developer teams with that task."
He also acknowledged that he faces a similar challenge himself, because no matter what Special Projects comes up with, the odds of recreating his PUBG success are extremely thin. "Oh yeah, I'm fucked," he said. "But that's why I feel so lucky to work with PUBG Corp."